Energy. Environment. Economy.

New York’s Fracking Decision May Hinge on Results of Geisinger Health Study

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Governor Andrew Cuomo (D- New York) is still weighing whether or not to allow hydrofracking in his state.

New York’s decision on whether or not to allow hydrofracking may hinge on the results of a new health study by the Danville-based Geisinger Health System.

The Associated Press reports New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, put off making a decision last month, partly on the advice of his former brother-in-law and environmental advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.:

Kennedy believes Cuomo held off in large part because of the prospect of a new $1 million study by the Geisinger Health System of Pennsylvania, billed by property owners seeking safe fracking and environmentalists as a “large-scale, scientifically rigorous assessment” of drilling in Pennsylvania.

The study will look at detailed health histories of hundreds of thousands of patients who live near wells and other facilities that are producing natural gas from the same Marcellus Shale formation that New York would tap.

Unlike most studies funded by advocates or opponents of hydrofracking, this study would be funded by the Sunbury, Pa.-based Degenstein Foundation, which is not seen as having an ideological bent.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation faced an end-of-February deadline to finalize its fracking regulations, but that was stalled when the head of the state’s Department of Health said he needed more time to review potential health impacts.

The four-and-a-half year environmental review of fracking has upset some landowners and the gas industry. Last week, Gannett reported the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York plans to file a lawsuit against the state for delaying the decision.

The Geisinger study includes more than 40 researchers from 16 different organizations. Phase I of the study is expected to be completed over the next three to five years.



  • billclinton

    Great news for Cuomo. He can skate to a presidential run without making any decicision. Please remember cuomo for the lack of jobs in Ny since he won leadership and the loss of good people who had enough of the overtaxation his administration supports. Hes a bad seed and we dont want him running this country let alone this state. The guy is a slacker with a failing record in business.

    • Robert Kaussner

      As a resident of central New York (specifically the finger lakes region) I am very pleased that Governor Cuomo has decided to wait until the health impact study by Geisinger Health is complete. The finger lakes (which are interconnected via underground aquifers) are among the cleanest in the world (Skaneateles lake is the second cleanest lake on the planet). We do not want our water or health contaminated by fracking, or our land to be trashed via hydrofracking activity. The job gains would be minimal since the majority of the labor for this would not be local. And local economic gains would be quite temporary at best.

  • Tam

    Take ur time, the gas ain’t going anywhere, with tainted water, we arent goin anywhere, our homes become worthless, drills,pipes,pumps, them boom, no jobs again. We gotta look forward, our short time here. Why would you not want to be sure? That you have health, clean water and air and justice for your children instead of a toxic mess too big to fix? Come on, broken families, broken health, broken promises to good people that were raised on trust and truth and science, not moneytalk. Gas should be only a bridge to many jobs in sustainable. They want to export 40%! Highest bidders! Pa in thei

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